Objective: Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement in childhood Behçet disease (BD) is not well understood. We aimed to clarify the intestinal presentation in children with BD.
Methods: Medical records of 85 children with recurrent oral ulcers between 1990 and 2010 at the National Taiwan University Hospital were reviewed retrospectively. Twenty of them who fulfilled the Mason and Barnes criteria for the diagnosis of childhood BD were enrolled. The clinical and laboratory characteristics were analyzed.
Results: Among 20 patients, the median age at diagnosis was 13.2 years. The common presentations included oral ulcers (100%), genital ulcers (70%), skin lesions (65%), and GI symptoms (50%). Five of 10 patients with GI symptoms received endoscopic examinations and all had ulcers. Divided by the age of 10, patients younger than 10 years tended to have higher rates of GI symptoms initially and intestinal ulcers (P = 0.002 and 0.015, respectively). Platelet count was significantly lower in young patients (P = 0.0151). Patients without GI symptoms had higher rates of skin involvement than patients with GI symptoms (P = 0.019).
Conclusions: Young children with BD tended to have more GI presentations. For children with BD younger than 10 years having GI symptoms, endoscopic examinations may be considered.